Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with President Barak Obama, U.S. Attorney Genreal Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, and the CEOs of several other companies have all been named in a US$20 billion class action lawsuit over privacy violations related to the PRISM domestic surveillance program. The lawsuit was filed by Larry Klayman who clearly isn't pleased with reports that the National Security Agency has allegedly been collecting information from several technology-related companies, and is calling the lawsuit part of a move to stop government tyranny.
Apple & CEO Tim Cook named in privacy class action lawsuit
Mr. Klayman said in a statement,
This and the Verizon class action will serve to unify all political and social persuasions in our great nation to wage a second American revolution, one that is peaceful and legal – but pursued with great resolve and force. Government dishonesty and tyranny against the people have reached historic proportions during the last three administrations in particular, and the time has come for We the People to rise up and reclaim control of our nation. If not, the government will control us and this will mark the end of individual liberties. The American people can thus use these class actions to 'man the barricades of freedom' against the establishment government despots and their corporate enablers who seek to enslave them through coercive abuses of their privacy. This Orwellian power grab can only be intended to blackmail the masses into submission in order that these modern day greedy tyrants achieve their corrupt ends.
His lawsuit also named Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skype, YouTube, Apple, PalTalk, AOL, and Yahoo! for allegedly giving customer data to the NSA voluntarily.
This is Mr. Klayman's second lawsuit related to NSA privacy issues. He also filed a class action lawsuit against Verizon for giving the NSA customer activity records under a court order.
Reports claiming Apple, along with several other companies, where giving the NSA direct access to their servers surfaced earlier in June. Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling denied Apple was participating in the PRISM program, stating, "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order."
Google and Facebook issued denials, too. Google said in part, "From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."
Mr. Klayman, who founded Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, filed his class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington DC. Apple hasn't commented on the lawsuit.